Did you miss me? I missed the artwork, but I am back for the last day of the work week with this fantastic piece by Mark Chadwick.
While I often enjoy abstract artwork, I’ve found it particularly difficult to connect with abstract paintings via the internet. Sculptures seem to translate a little better for some reason. But this piece caught me and pulled me in without asking any questions first. Mark Chadwick uses machines to create this flowing pieces of artwork. In his artist statement, he admits to even leaving the studio altogether and letting the art form itself. That seems hopelessly existential to me, and yet I kind of love that theory. I’ve often said that visual art helps me get out of my cognitive, narrative driven mindset, and this seems like one more level removed from that black and white space. In any case, the result is lovely and profound.
You will very sadly miss out on an art update today, because I’m using all my free (read Pearl’s nap) time to send art requests for my upcoming amazing birthday art festival on November 8th. I am so very excited about this event. I did this once before a few years ago, and I can still feel the creative euphoria that night kindled. If you are an artist and you’re local (you know, in a state roughly adjoining Minnesota), please consider showing or performing some work at the event. If you’re not an artist, just come and soak up the artsy goodness. It’s going to be fantastic.
My quest for unique artists doing truly original work is just going bonkers this week. Today I have the pleasure of showing off one of Jason Decaires Taylor‘s work. He makes sculptures and then sinks them into the ocean, creating the first underwater sculpture garden in the world.
This sculpture garden is in the West Indies off the coast of Grenada. This artwork was made in large part to help rejuvenate coral structures, providing new places for coral to attach and grow. His work is in a constantly transitory state because of it’s location in the ocean, which inevitably adapts and assimilates the sculptures into itself. In the image above, the “wings” on the figure are not sculpted, they are coral growths. As time goes on, the figures become more and more part of the ocean.
This is a really amazing interview with Jason Decaires Taylor, which is long but totally worth watching. I can’t describe the gentle and transcendent nature of Taylor’s work with still images, and hearing him speak about the purpose and nature of his work is just fascinating.
There is nothing I like more (besides my husband, kid, sex, chocolate, and the other obvious things) than to find a type of art that is completely different from anything I’ve seen before. I love finding some cool jewelry, a profound painting, a breathtaking sculpture, but I love it even more when I find something that defies being named. That is what I found today in Suzan Drummen and her landscape floor installations.
What is that? It’s crystals, precious stones, beads, glass, mirrors, and probably a lot of other things, meticulously placed to create an intricate, other-worldly 3D landscape on an empty floor. Some more pictures are necessary.
I am in love with the unadulterated creativity that goes into these things, and I am in deep admiration for the bravery I can’t even imagine it takes to make ones work something so beautiful and yet difficult to explain. Hats off.
An artist profile of the amazing Cheryl Sorg! Since Monday I was burning my long weekend on a fruitless attempt to potty train my toddler, I didn’t have time to post this very adult, artsy, fascinating profile. Believe me when I tell you, I would rather be blogging.
Cheryl Sorg makes these amazing book-related collage pieces, many of them specifically tailored to the life and loves of the person they’re made for. I love how she brings literature into the realm of visual art and in such a respectful and effective way. Here’s some about her in her own words, enjoy!
What do you love about your medium?
There are a couple of things I love about it.
The first thing I love about it is its very simplicity – I am somewhat gear-averse and like to keep things really simple. My favorite forms of exercise are walking and yoga, largely because they require minimal gear and you can do them anywhere. In my art work, while my process is complex (as well as labor intensive, one might even say tedious), my materials are certainly not – they consist of paper, tape, scissors, a sticker machine – that’s pretty much it!
The other thing I love about my medium is that it is hands-on and labor-intensive, which makes it a sort of meditation for me that soothes my over-active (and often not in a good way) mind.
Describe a piece of artwork that you find superficial or boring.
While I can’t recall a specific piece of artwork off the top of my head, I can say that, living in a small beach town that caters to beach-going tourists, one sees a lot of kind of traditional or kitschy seascape paintings and while there is no doubt I find the ocean beautiful (it kinda goes without saying), I have to admit my reaction to these sorts of paintings is often dismissive.
When did you first call yourself an artist and why?
I have always been one, always knew I wanted to do art in one form or another, but I spent a lot ( a LOT) of years cycling through many of the various ‘practical’ applications for my artistic leanings. All through my childhood I was sure I was going to be a fashion designer and would spend endless hours filling pages with drawings of dresses and shoes and the like. But after a year of college as a fashion design major, it became clear that wasn’t going to be my thing (though I still adore fashion and dream of being able to fill my closet with designer wares). I dropped out and was a bit lost for a while after that, thinking maybe I’d be an art teacher, an art therapist, who knows, until I got a camera at age 26 or so and then decided to return to college as a photography major. I studied photography (with some of the most incredible photographers as instructors) at MassArt in Boston and loved it. But the gear aversion, various experiments with other media, and, well, life, steered me in yet another direction and I began creating things with texts and book pages – collages, installations and sculptures instead of making photographs. I certainly thought of myself as an artist while in school. It’s part of the absolute glorious nature of art school – making art is your full-time job for a while there and it’s fantastic. But in addition to art courses, I took tons of literature courses and literature independent studies and even thought I might go on for a higher degree in comparative literature, so I still wasn’t calling myself an artist to the outside world so much. I think that finally happened during my time right after graduating in 1999 – at age 31. I was working a wonderful ‘day job’ as an administrator at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, in which I had a fantastic boss who was just so supportive of my art life and also in which I got the chance to interact all day with diverse, bright, cultured, lovely students all day. It was a job that supported me financially and psychologically and while I worked there I was able to crank out tons of work in my off time and begin exhibiting regularly.
Describe a piece of artwork and/or an artist that you find consistently inspiring.
Oh boy – there are so many. Two that come to mind immediately are from two very different artists, but I find them equally inspiring. One is a video piece I saw years ago at the San Francisco MoMA by Sam Taylor-Wood that was just so genius I was instantly jealous of her and so wished I had thought of it. It appeared at first glance to be a still photographic image of a scene of people sitting in a cafe displayed on a screen, but if you stood there for a few minutes and watched, you would notice that the woman’s cigarette was burning down, that you could see the tiniest tremors that come when people sit so very still for that long. It was brilliant, and I know I will never ever forget it. The other that comes to mind – especially because I got to see it in person for a second time this past summer on a trip to Paris – is a Van Gogh self-portrait. It is so gripping, so riveting, draws me in so completely I have cried both times I’ve stood in front of it. It’s so beautifully rendered I feel him looking at me, and as a person myself who experiences profound sadness and hopelessness and psychological despair myself more often than I care to think about, I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it – I feel like I feel his pain, I feel a profound empathy through that eye-to-eye connection. In front of that painting, I’m a little like the museum-goer in Ben Lerner’s‘Leaving the Atocha Station’, who the protagonist watches, mockingly (somewhat enviously?) sobbing in ‘a profound experience of art’.
Interestingly, I find both of these pieces both inspiring and devastating. There’s a small part of me that feels I should throw my hands in the air and give up this crazy art-making thing when I see work so moving, so amazing, so doubtful am I that anything I create will ever move someone in that way. But I don’t. Throw my hands in the air and give up, that is. Because I have to make art, period. And if I can give, one of these days, just one person that feeling, ‘a profound experience of art’, well that would be pretty f*ing awesome.
What is your unique purpose for creating work?
I love the written word. I love books and the stories held within their pages. I am so inspired by them and comforted by them. My purpose is to celebrate those stories, as well as tell a few of my own. I’ve had this idea of ‘celebration’ in my mind lately (perhaps a summer in France did that?), and new ideas are creeping up as a result. They are not fully formed yet, are a little kooky, and revolve around this phrase: book party. Woo!
Since it is after Labor Day, and it even feels a tiny bit fall-ish in my backyard, I finally feel that I can share my Etsy store with you. This is not art, it’s just craft. It is fun, though, I love doing it, and you would probably love having one of my original designs for the long winter.
First, apologies to anyone who tried to reach this site yesterday or the day before and received an error message. The hiccup has been conquered by the cute husband and all is well in the land of creative compassion.
To make up for the missed days, I present to you some fun with naked bodies. Carl Warner puts together these amazing landscapes composed entirely of photos of naked skin.
What I love about these pieces is how they illustrate the sheer beauty of the human form, even just the skin and muscles, apart from any overtly sexual reference. The body is beautiful in and of itself, not just as a tool for orgasm. The coloring and curves are simply mesmerizing, and as I look at these pictures I’m really struck at how many human-made objects are in some way imitating the perfect shape and dynamism of the body.
I like seeing artists who take a medium and do something entirely new to it. I like that about Bestebee Romero and her carved tires, I like that about Rebeca Mojica and her chainmaille, and I like it about Angela Mellor and her work with the translucency of bone china. Mellor first caught my eye with this piece.
I love this for the elegant melding of complexity and simplicity. I love how intimate it feels, like I’m seeing through the china to a different and more beautiful identity.
However, that piece is not the greatest representation of Mellor’s work, since she works mainly with light effects through bone china, which is also amazing. Here is a piece like that.
Today, I am looking at the profound work of Lena Arice Lucas, who caught my eye with this piece, entitled “Shelter”
I can look at abstract sculptures forever. Really. They strike me in a way that abstract paintings don’t, and I cannot come up with one cognitive reason why. Even though I most often look at abstract sculptures online, I still love how visceral they are. If nothing else, I can imagine how they would feel. They feel more real somehow, because they stand somewhere and have weight and texture. I’m making that up, because I really just love them and that’s all there is.
Art nouveau is not a new phenomenon, but it’s really been since I got on board with Pinterest that I really started to love the form. I’m really entranced by the relationship of structure and spontaneity in the form, the long elegant lines that stretch out in seemingly unpredictable patterns, but always form just what the artist had in mind. And so I bring you, Jim M. Berberich, stained glass painter.
Stained glass is not (in my very limited research) a typical medium for art nouveau, at least not as typical as oil paint, ink, or metalwork. Berberich puts all that is elegant and provocative about art nouveau into a painted window. This piece, inspired by Alphonse Mucha, caught my eye in particular because it is clearly art nouveau, but the color palate is very different from the warmer, duskier colors you usually see in this type of work. I love the black hair, the greens, blues, and reds in this piece. It adds a sensuality and depth of color to an already pretty sexy art form.